2021 MLB draft: Players with Michigan ties selected this year

Detroit Free Press

A rundown of local players selected in the 2021 MLB draft:

Nebraska RHP/SS Spencer Schwellenbach (Saginaw Heritage)

Vitals: 6 feet 1, 200 pounds.

Bats/throws: Right/Right.

Drafted: Second round (No. 59 overall) to Atlanta Braves.

The buzz: Schwellenbach’s, the 2021 Big Ten Player of the Year and 2021 John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year, hit .284 with six homers and 40 RBIs at shortstop, while also going 3-1 and a 0.57 ERA in 31⅔ innings. Schwellenbach, 21, didn’t make an appearance on the mound until his junior year,  allowing just one run in 17 of his 18 appearances and finished the season with a Big Ten leading 10 saves. He was drafted by the 34th round by the Cleveland Indiana out of high school, but the Michigan Gatorade Player of the Year and Mr. Baseball elected to play for the Huskers.

Michigan LHP Steven Hajjar

Vitals: 6-5, 215.

Bats/throws: Right/left.

Drafted: Second round (No. 61 overall) to Minnesota Twins.

The buzz: Hajjar was an All-Big Ten first-team selection in 2021 after going 4-2 with a 3.09 ERA in 81.2 innings, while striking out 110 for U-M. The 20-year-old lefty has a four-pitch arsenal, highlighted by a fastball that sits in the 89-91 mph range and tops out at 94. Scouts rave about his consistent low-80s change-up and he adds a solid curveball and slider. Many believe he has major upside if he can show more command on his pitches and increase his velocity.

Trenton HS RHP Micah Ottenbreit

Vitals: 6-4, 190.

Bats/throws: Right/Right.

Drafted: Fourth round (No. 114 overall) to Philadelphia Phillies

The buzz: The 6-foot-4 Michigan State commit, has a solid three-pitch mix with a 94 mph fastball, mid-70s curveball, and low 80s change-up. Ottenbreit, one of the younger pitchers in the class turning 18 a few weeks ago, is expected to increase his velocity to the mid-90s once he adds weight to his 190-pound frame.

Eastern Michigan RHP Justin Meis

Vitals: 6-2, 160.

Bats/throws: Right/right.

Drafted: 10th round (No. 283 overall) to Pittsburgh Pirates.

The buzz: A sleeper on most draft boards, Meis earned national recognition when he threw eight scoreless innings versus College World Series Champion Mississippi State their longest scoring drought of the season. His pitching arsenal includes a fastball low 90s, breaking ball in the low 80s, and change-up in the high 80s. He finished his junior year 4-6 with a 4.64 ERA in 73.2 innings of work and 81 strikeouts. In the Cape Cod league, Meis, 21, is having an impressive showing with a 2.08 ERA, 17 strikeouts, and 0.808 WHIP.

Adrian College LHP Mo Hanley

Vitals: 6-2, 195.

Bats/throws: Left/left

Drafted: 13th round (No. 381 overall) to Los Angeles Angels.

The buzz: Criswell was picked by the Detroit Tigers in the 37th round three years ago out of Portage Central High, but instead went to play for Michigan. He pitched 24 games and 32 1/3 innings –– all as a reliever –– during his freshman year before starting in 2019. He had a 7-1 record, 2.72 ERA and 116 strikeouts against 50 walks in 22 games (17 starts) and 106 innings as the Wolverines made it to the College World Series. He started four games before the 2020 season was canceled. Being able to pitch as a starter or out of the bullpen gives the  Angels some reassurance with this pick. Considered by a risky pick due to his injury history and iffy command.

Michigan SS Benjamin Sems

Vitals: 6-3, 200.

Bats/throws: Left/Right

Drafted: 15th round (No. 440 overall) to Colorado Rockies

The buzz: Criswell was picked by the Detroit Tigers in the 37th round three years ago out of Portage Central High, but instead went to play for Michigan. He pitched 24 games and 32 1/3 innings –– all as a reliever –– during his freshman year before starting in 2019. He had a 7-1 record, 2.72 ERA and 116 strikeouts against 50 walks in 22 games (17 starts) and 106 innings as the Wolverines made it to the College World Series. He started four games before this season was canceled. His command has improved each season but is concerning at times. Being able to pitch as a starter or out of the bullpen gives the Athletics some reassurance with this pick. considered by a risky pick due to his injury history and iffy command.

Western Michigan OF Blake Dunn

Vitals: 6-0, 210

Bats/throws: Right/right

Drafted: 15th round (No. 450 overall) to Cincinnati Reds

The buzz: Criswell was picked by the Detroit Tigers in the 37th round three years ago out of Portage Central High, but instead went to play for Michigan. He pitched 24 games and 32 1/3 innings –– all as a reliever –– during his freshman year before starting in 2019. He had a 7-1 record, 2.72 ERA and 116 strikeouts against 50 walks in 22 games

Central Michigan RHP Ian Leatherman

Vitals: 5-11, 165.

Bats/throws: Right/right

Drafted: 16th round (No. 491 overall) to Tampa Bay Rays.

The buzz: Criswell was picked by the Detroit Tigers in the 37th round three years ago out of Portage Central High, but instead went to play for Michigan. He pitched 24 games and 32 1/3 innings –– all as a reliever –– during his freshman year before starting in 2019. He had a 7-1 record, 2.72 ERA and 116 strikeouts against 50 walks in 22 games

Michigan State RHP Mason Erla

Vitals: 6-2, 195.

Bats/throws: Left/left

Drafted: 17th round (No. 501 overall) to Los Angeles Angels.

The buzz: In 13 starts Erla posted a 3.50 ERA over 79.2 innings with 80 strikeouts and 30 walks but he allowed almost a hit per inning. His best pitch is his fastball that can reach the upper 90s but is consistent in the low 90s. Erla’s biggest concerns are his iffy secondary pitches slider and changeup and his age, he turns 24 in a few weeks.

Michigan RHP Blake Beer

Vitals: 6-4, 215.

Bats/throws: Right/right

Drafted: 19th round (No. 578 overall) to Oakland A’s.

The buzz: Criswell was picked by the Detroit Tigers in the 37th round three years ago out of Portage Central High, but instead went to play for Michigan. He pitched 24 games and 32 1/3 innings –– all as a reliever –– during his freshman year before starting in 2019. He had a 7-1 record, 2.72 ERA and 116 strikeouts against 50 walks in 22 games

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